Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trip to the Wildlife Preserve

My sisters Nancy and Carol are visiting for the Settlement Day festivities. We are trying to do lots of the tourist things while they are here. While Cathy was busy with a project, the sisters and I went to Maya Center to visit the Jaguar Preserve at Cockscomb Basin. We stopped and got our tickets (BZ $10) where the road turned off the Southern Highway. We were a little amused about the prohibition of pets in the jaguar preserve. The jaguars might like a few tasty young pets. 
Maya Center

We drove 6 miles on the secondary road to the trailhead. We saw the exhibit at the visitors’ center and bought the trail map (BZ $5) for the self-guided tours. There is also a guided multi-day tour to Victoria’s Peak that is for outdoor people who are in really good physical condition. I do not think it is available during the rainy season. We opted for the old people’s trails and were very happy with them. The map has narratives that go with the trail markers to tell us what we were seeing and interesting information about it. We learned a lot. 

Jaguars are protected in the preserve. We did not see one, but perhaps one saw us. They are mostly solitary nocturnal hunters. They stalk and prey on larger animals but will also take smaller targets of opportunity. We saw pictures from the motion sensor photo traps. The individual cats can be identified by the unique pattern of spots and have been named by the park rangers. I think we saw 5-6 different cats, and none of them looked happy about being photographed. 

Carol and Nancy
Steve and Nancy

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